Stewardship: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.
Notice that the definition doesn't have anything to do with ownership. Rather, throughout scripture, we are instructed to be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.
Take the parable of the talents, which we've looked at in some detail in a previous post. In this parable, Jesus illustrates the concept of stewardship very well - and shows us some of the key challenges of stewardship. For one, the fact that we often see ourselves as less talented, like the last servant in Jesus' parable. We excuse ourselves from stewardship because we don't think we have any gifts that need to be used for God's purpose. We see our gifts as minimal and thus our responsibility as little.
This is a major struggle with stewardship. What are we to be good stewards of? How are we to steward? What is our responsibility? What is God expecting of us?
If we are good stewards of our money, is that enough? What about our time, talent, and relationships?
Start with Stewardship
A great way to start each day is to ask God 1 question: "What would you have me do with everything you have entrusted to me?"
Let's break this question down by focusing on a few key words:
- "you" : What does God want us to do? Not what do I want to do or what do others want me to do.
- "everything" : It all belongs to God, and He, as the owner, asks us to steward everything for His purpose.
- "entrusted" : We are not the owner. We have just been entrusted or appointed as steward for a short time on this earth. We can't take any of it with us. All that we have, all that we steward, will be asked of us as we enter our eternal home.
May God grant you knowledge, wisdom, discernment, and passion to be a faithful steward of all His resources.